One of the most important appliances in a home is the HVAC unit. Not only does it regulate temperature, but it's also responsible for most of the energy use in the house. When you're purchasing a new home, it's important to find out everything you can about the HVAC system, even if it's hidden away in a garage or basement. Here's what to ask about those units as you consider buying a house.
What Kind of Heating and Cooling Does the System Use?
This is a surprisingly important question because there are several different types of heating and cooling systems. A heat pump, for example, operates very differently from a natural gas furnace, although both can be very efficient. If the system uses liquid propane as a fuel source, then you know that you will have to arrange for regular refills to keep your propane levels up. These details can prove to be surprisingly important.
How Old is the System?
There are two really good reasons to learn how old the HVAC units are. First, older units may need to be replaced before long, or at least require more repairs. The typical unit lasts 10 to 15 years before it starts getting into trouble.
Second, HVAC technology is always improving. Newer systems are more likely to have better efficiency ratings and save more money than older units, which matters when the bills start coming in. If no one knows how old the units are, the manufacturing date is usually printed on a plate or label somewhere on the unit.
When Was the Last Time Professional Maintenance Was Done?
Ideally, a professional visit to inspect your system is important every year or two, just so that a technician can check on refrigerant levels and make sure everything is working properly. If the unit hasn't had a maintenance visit, then you know to arrange one if you choose to buy the house.
What Sort of Heating and Cooling Bills Can I Expect?
Heating and cooling bills vary based on time and location (not to mention thermostat habits), but it's still important to ask about bills and get a general idea about how much you have to pay. This is particularly important if the system uses a different fuel or model than what you expect, or if the house is larger or smaller than what you are used to.
What is the Home's Insulation Like?
The other side of the HVAC coin is insulation. A great HVAC system can't save poor insulation, so it's important to pay attention to all the insulation a house provides, especially in the attic and basement.
At Guaranteed Services, we're here for all your heating and cooling needs. Schedule your next inspection with us today!